Having stayed at Kims on three occasions and also dined with them as casuals; my Partner and I decided to book again as casuals for Christmas Day dinner together with my sister and her husband. The booking was made on boxing Day 2012; a year in advance. As you can imagine, we were very much looking forward to it. Whilst stating we appreciated that their house guests would take priority over the casual diners, we requested a window table if at all possible. So we were surprised to find on the night that while the dining room was not full, we were seated at the rear of the restaurant when a window opportunity may well have been possible. Even if this was not the case, a courteous reference to our request either way would have been a show of hospitable care and professional good faith.
Perhaps it was an oversight on our part not to have enquired as to what would be on the menu on Christmas Day 2013. However, in our defence, it was a Christmas Day Dinner we were booking which is UNIVERSALLY understood to be as a special day of the year. Therefore it never occurred to us that it would NOT offer - at least in part - some TRADITIONAL Christmas Day main course and dessert menu options. Where was the hot Roast Turkey OR warm Glazed Ham OR Roast Pork apple sauce and crackling in the hot buffet section? Instead, there were various "casserole" style options along with some cold cuts of turkey, beef, lamb and various salad items, sambals and condiments and cheeses. Whilst the Seafood on offer including Prawns, Oysters and Sashimi were very good quality it did not and could not compensate for the HUGE omission of at least one Traditional Hot Christmas Dinner Option. We were then staggered to find that the dessert options were a cold Macadamia Tart with whipped cream and a selection of sorbets/ice-creams.There were some mini Fruit Mince Tarts and Christmas Cake. No Christmas Pudding was a bitter disappointment. The service was flat and joyless and uninformed. My sister asked the waitress if there were any wines offered that did not contain preservative 220, further explaining that there was no problem with wines containing sulphates. Preservative free and natural wines are quite common these days with many wine makers and sommeliers' committed to providing quality natural and preservative free options. Again, I concede we ought perhaps have asked in advance if there was such an option available. But this omission on our part does not negate the fact that the staff did not know either way when asked. We then requested that the waitress find out for us. She returned promptly to say "no, there aren't any." When politely questioned if she had actually asked she replied she had "asked the big boss' and they said no". We then kindly asked if she would mind looking at a couple of bottles herself as their list was large and therefore it was possible some did not sate "contains preservative 220." Bingo; there was a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir suitable. This did not send a message of care from management and we strongly suspect that our original request to check the bottles offered by the glass was not carried out. Had it been, the Chardonnay or Pinot Noir would have been offered upon her return. Further, the table service was hurried and cold. The plates were being arbitararily removed with no grace nor regard to the others still eating. Finally... the coffee.
Three short blacks arrived in demitasse cups without a saucer.
Also, I was asked if we had been to Kims before; once when booking, and again by the host when we entered the dining room. Not Good. We are veterans of the hospitality industry with some 70 years combined between us. Awarded a SMH Good Food Guide Chefs Hat four times, winning multiple statewide and national awards for excellence from Restaurant & Catering Association and; a one Glass Rating from Gourmet wine Magazine wine list of the year awards for five consecutive years, so we do understand the challenges of meeting the expectations of clients. Addressing client enquiries professionally and with grace is a basic hospitality ethic as is a genuine attempt to meet reasonable client expectations of which we consider our expectation of one traditional hot Christmas dinner option and Christmas pudding on Christmas day to be a reasonable example to this.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kims Beach Hideaway is located right on the beach with absolute ocean views and just over an hours drive north of Kims. Accommodation is in individual timber lodges with a seperate restaurant and cocktail lounge. Meals are included in most packages and served buffet style. Kims in adults only and a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kims Beach Hideaway Hotel Toowoon Bay
- Kims Beach Hideaway Wyong